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Paul Ryan 14, America 10, John Boehner 10, Boehner 9, Us 8, Obama 6, Rubio 4, John Edwards 4, John Harwood 3, Tim Geithner 3, Unitedhealthcare 2, Nasal 2, U.s. 2, Msnbc 2, New York City 2, Walmart 2, Romney 2, Usaa 2, Mitch Mcconnell 2, Andrea Mitchell 2,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    December 6, 2012
    9:00 - 9:59am PST  

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managing editor of msnbc.com, richard wolffe. the congressional joint economic committee just wrapped up a hearing on the impact of going over the fiscal cliff. and two top economists had dire warnings -- >> if policy is unchanged and we go over the cliff and there's no change after that, the hit to gdp in 2013 will be 3.5 percentage point. the economy's growing two percentage points. subtract 3.5, that is a severe recession. >> if we go off the fiscal cliff with no policy changes the near-term negative economic consequences would be significant and most assuredly throw us into a recession. >> comes a day after treasury secretary tim geithner told cnbc the white house is prepared to go the distance if its demands are not met. >> if republicans do not agree to that, is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff? >> oh, absolutely. again we see there's no
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agreement that done involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthiest. remember it's only 2%. >> former senator alan simpson, co-founder of the fix the debt campaign, choice words and analysis for would-be cliff jumpers. >> when you have leaders of parties and people from the administration saying, i think it will be to the advantage of the democrats to go off the cliff, wealthy it will be advantage to the republicans to go off the cliff or the president to go off the cliff, that's like betting your country. there's stupidity involved in that. this is big-time stuff. >> surprising exactly no one, senator mitch mcconnell took to the senate floor yesterday to blast the administration strategy as a campaign maneuver. >> incredibly, many top democrats, including the president, seem perfectly happy, perfectly happy, to go off the cliff. >> but in a new quinnipiac poll out today, the american public gives the democrats the benefit of the doubt by a margin of 18
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points, americans trust the president and democrats to avoid the fiscal cliff over republicans. the same poll gave president obama his highest approval rating in three years, with 53% support. in the next hour and a half, president obama will continue the great reasonableness tour of 2012. visiting a middle class family in northern virginia with the aim of putting more pressure on congress to extend middle income tax cuts. majority leader harry reid did his part for the cause on the senate floor today. >> so it's apparent how this will end. the only question is, when will it end? it's how long will speaker boehner make middle class families wait for relief and how long will he force the financial markets to wait for uncertainty. >> joining the panel now, the sage of capitol hill, the seasonally elegant luke russert. >> thank you so much for having me. >> you get a special intro when you arrive on set a little late.
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thrilled to have you here, with ongoing deliberation on capitol hill, you are the eyes. >> eyes and ears hopefully. yet i'm here, congress is recessed this week. >> always a reason, my friend. the fact that tim geithner came out and said, we will go over this cliff, is somewhat counter to what the president has been saying thus far. you couple that and the recent talk about the debt ceiling and making sure that's included in whatever deal is made on this, is the white house demanding too much? are they in danger of edging too far over the line? >> not yet. obviously, look, there's a huge victory the president got. they certainly feel the wind's at their backs. democrats have a pep in their step around capitol hill. >> to say the least. >> but there is a risk of running in to saying we wash a hands a bit, a lot of folks critical of the gop, especially the debt limb knit 2011. one interesting thing that we mentioned before this is these
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things that are democratic, very popular amongst democratic circles, unemployment insurance, payroll tax cut, things of that nature. there's an idea amongst republicans if the president wants to extend those programs it has to be done in a larger deal. if he says, fine, let's go off the cliff, they're saying we're into the going to bring ununemployment insurance as a free standing bill, we're not going to bring up payroll tax cut as a free standing bill. those are things at risk if the white house takes a hard stand. >> richard, i'm a little bit terrified for everyone in this, specifically, i feel like we've learned one thing from the last four years, and the republicans will stand on your neck and stab you in the eye. this party plays hardball. and really i feel like it's a line in the sand insofar as the president is being as tough as i think he ever has been in terms of holding the line on this stuff. i worry he's antagonizing them further by adding the debt ceiling to the package and sort of raising the hackles of the
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gop as a daunting prospect. >> i think that's his goal. look the hostages have become the hostage takers. they have adopted those tactics because they are actually ready to take hostages. that's what tim geithner was doing. is he ready to take the country into recession, no. but he's saying, go on, make me. that's a very strong negotiating position. you know what? it will actually work for them because, a, they have got the political wind behind them, as luke says, not only do they have confidence in their ranks but they have won a general election on this platform, taxes need to go up for the very wealthy. so if you prepare to dpoeshiate hard, you prepared in theory to go over the cliff, the other side is in some disarray, you're going to get a deal. and the question is what other elements of the deal -- luke is right -- what other elements of the deal are in there? it's not a unilateral disarmament on all debt ceiling
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raises but the next debt ceiling raise has got to be in there, some element of unemployment in exchange for whatever horse trading they get. is it the upper 8, is it 39.5? >> 37%? >> 250,000, that's what congress does. it's horrible. it's a sausage making machine. you don't want to know what's in the sausage but the president has a strong hand and playing it as you expect him to. >> i mean, just to jump in quickly, he has to do it now because he doesn't want to repeat last time. >> i don't think -- nobody does, right? only the republicans do. they want the leverage. >> of course they do. i mean his point is, let me get it in now, even if it fails, even it raises their hackles, even if it occasions their proposium, he's going to put his marker on the table, this is what i'm willing to do, this is the line drawn in the sand when they back up, he's anticipated what their resistance will amount to and he's got leverage even more. i think he's got to do that. >> absolutely.
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just to remember, the republicans had always said the debt ceiling was potentially going to be used in negotiations. >> threatened it. >> threatened it early on. sadly we know we were probably going to end up here. >> i want to talk about if the president is emboldened, so is speaker boehner insofar he has, unlike 2011 support of his caucus. one is, there's a fawning story in the new york times about all of the members of boehner's caucus saying i understand now, you know, there but for the grace of god goes he, you know? he's doing the work of charity in terms of negotiating this thing. boehner's emboldened by that support. but also you know i think they've been swashbuckling insofar as keeping the raucous members or purging them from committee chairs. >> there's definitely been a new message which is that john boehner's the boss and we're not going to deal with insubordination. if you look at that offer, people are saying it's boehner's offer. it's signed by eric cantor.
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>> and paul wrien. and paul ryan. any leader who the rebels, shall we say, within the republican conference could have, is now aligned with wehner completely. strengths his hand. he's the sole negotiate, whatever he gets from president obama will be the rule of law. and i think what's really emboldened boehner, ironically, mitt romney's loss. it's this idea that john boehner's survived, he's the one who came through. we were able to keep the house. he does get a lot of credit for that among house republican circles, they were able to keep the house. people think -- >> he raised something like 100 million dollars. >> he's the kingmaker. i suspect that, from folks that i've talked to, eric cantor will not be a thorn in boehner's side. eric cantor realizes he has time, niece his 40s, he wants to be the first jewish speaker of the house. sit back, relax, you know what? if boehner becomes unpopular you
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don't have to lead a charge against him. you can say, well, that's too bad, john, you don't have the support. but he doesn't have to do anything, he can sit back. >> on positive way, it's not mitt romney's loss as obama's win which has helped him. they're bedfellows now. they've have to negotiate from a different perspective. >> what's shocked me there's this tacit understanding the negotiation's not going to be done until the 11th hour at a table, over the air, and the unabashed pr blitz that this has been, but at the end of the day, maybe this is naivety, but i feel like two men want to come it a grand bargain. they got there almost in 2011. there was a lot of sort of armchair analysis as to why john boehner even came back after the sort of first round didn't go anywhere. it's a legacy thing, right? maybe? >> i think they're looking ahead. if you don't get a grand bargain now, you're never going to get one going forward on any of the
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other contentious issues, immigration, any number of other things that need to get done and i think also just looking at economic ramification everybody knows go over the cliff for a while but not weeks or months on end. when we talk about republican leverage, and it's not just a debt ceiling, and it's not just holding unemployment insurance and payroll tax cuts hostage, it's the next four years, right. >> there's this sense out there that if you squander the goodwill republicans are not going to play ball on a number of pieces of reform, that they are sort of actually have party interest in passing. >> immigration. >> i think john boehner's the kind of politician who wants to get stuff done, right? there are a lot of the tea party member who are elected to stop things from getting done. and this does come down to his strength as a speaker, right? it is actually in the president's interests to have a stronger john boehner in position. the reason they couldn't get the grand bargain last time, because eric cantor jockeying on the
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outside too explicitly, trying to undermine him. he is the one who vetoed that grand barge friend moving forward. if john boehner can take control of his caucus, it helps him because he can say, look, we've got stuff done, that might be your legacy thing. it certainly helps the president and helps the broader economy. it also positions them for doing what they haven't been able to do take control of congress in total. if they keep on putting the wrong candidates up for those senate races in two years' time -- >> by wrong you mean totally crazy people. >> -- only so much you can get done as house speaker or certainly for mitch mcconnell, it's a miserable life. maybe you can block things is have fun on tv all of the guys want to get something done. if they have a project to set things up for 2016 president and republican senate, they need to take control of their own party. john boehner got to be house speaker because the bush white house recognized that he was a
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skillful politician. he hasn't survived this long without being skillful. we're seeing some of the skill play out now. >> he's mindful of the history of congress. from getting to know john boehner is when you are retired as speak, they paint your portrait and it hangs in the speaker's lobby. everybody, every day who walks through there, looks up at the portrait you see newt gingrich, dennis hastert, this reporter will say this person did that. you see tip o'neill, reporters say, tip o'neill. john boehner wants that tip o'neill legacy. he wants to be able to say when you see my painting there will be universal praise. we won't agree with him here or there, least he got something done. >> can he get that without a sideways mention of the tan? >> newt gingrich has the contract with america in his portrait. >> and the crying. this is what i meant by the fact that obama helped him, because he allowed him to trim his sales get rid of the tea party complainers because now they say
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look the nation wants this. he looks like he's being broadly democratic for the best interests of the nation while shoring up his own, you know, particular interest there and he's been able to get help from obama to beat back the tea party. it's an ironic -- >> obama gave him -- >> he said the rich could pay. how about that? the rich would pay. >> obama gave him pow. >> we'll talk more about the rich paying. i think that you could say the president gave john boehner a political mulligan. how is that for golf talk, america? >> wow. >> who says i haven't been on the links? after the break, another cliff in town. the dairy cliff. talk lacto politics, the farm bill and social safety net with john harwood next. [ woman ] ring. ring.
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there's hard evidence na the emergency program is working in terms of getting families back on their feet. some on the other side says this encourages people not to work. if you know people who are unemployed, you know how untrue, unfair, and sometimes even mean, it is. >> that was senator chuck schumer in the last hour talking about unemployment benefits. comments highlight how deep the ideological chasm is separating democrats and republicans. while the two parties argue over the future of social security and medicare, other social safety net programs could play a bigger role in the fiscal cliff negotiations. on the line, food stamps and unemployment insurance. this week, prominent members of both parties urged the white
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house and speaker boehner to include the expired farm bill in their discussions arguing it could help in the push to reduce the deficit. the problem, stalled proposals to replace the expired program include billions of dollars in cuts to food stamps. the senate bill would shave $4.5 billion from the program over ten years. the house version would slash $16 billion over the same time period. the congressional budget office estimates the house bill would throw upwards of $3 million people off the food stamp roles and hundreds of thousands of children denied free school lunches. needless to say the cuts could not come at a worst time for recipients. as of august, 47 million people americans relied on food stamps to keep from going hungry up from 31 million just four years ago. joining me on set, the author of "the juice," and in the nation's capitol, cnbc's chief washington correspondent, john harwood. we have our sage of capitol hill
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luke russert on set here. you're holding it down in the nation's capital. in firms of the discussions of the fiscal cliff, the white house is focused solely on cuts for top earners. almost no discussion of unemployment insurance and payroll taxes, the farm bill which would include the price of milk and food stamps on a broader level. at what point do these become sticking points in the negotiation? >> reporter: they're going to become sticking points and probably before the end of the year, because remember there are a couple of things going on. if the president gets a deal on rates, republicans are going to be less inclined to go along with some of the other things, like extended unemployment insurance and some sort of extension perhaps in different form of the payroll tax cut. but also to avoid the sequestration, the congress has got to find some way to have cuts in the interim. if they kick the can down the road they have to have month by month cuts. the farm bill, talking $10
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billion a month to in effect buy off the sequestration while they negotiate, the farm bill if you take the senate bill, $23 billion in subsidies cut overall, $4 billion as mentioned from food stamps $23 bm wouilli would be a couple of months of buy-down. remember that bill passed with more than 60 votes in the senate bipartisan and that is an indication of where the political center of graft is on those cuts and broader issues as well. >> talking about this before the show began, it's 2 million americans could lose jobless benefits unless congress extends unemployment insurance beyond december 29th. states receive a maximum of 73 weeks of benefits, some say it's less. i mean, we're also talking about this happening during the holiday season where people are absolutely thinking about their checkbooks, about the year ahead. that was the president's reason. that was his big push for payroll and unemployment insurance last time this happened. >> for the best chance for the programs that are important for
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millions of americans to continue, they have to be part of the fiscal cliff deal because it's unlikely that house republicans would allow these to appear freestanding. using these as leverage in terms of negotiation. house republicans could sleep fine knowing the payroll tax cut is not extended and the ui is not extended. they think that's too much spending. >> which is crazy because they're arguing for the top earners really putting their stake in the ground on top earners and when it comes to working class and poor tax cuts are a bad thing. >> the payroll tax cut there's a division between democrats about how much you want to raid the social security trust fund. but unemployment insurance, i think absolutely has to be part of the deal from the white house perspective aside from it fitting the democrat ex-ideology, it's also what president obama believes is a stimulus to the economy. >> yeah. >> that helps people have disposable income to go to restaurants, buy gas, buy food, to pay things for their
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children. and i would be very surprised if it ended up as part of the larger deal because it's not going to come in early spring. >> one of the things that's disappointing about this the food stamp issue which i agree with you on is being thrown into the basket in terms of talking about the agricultural reform. we do need ag reform in the country. the industry's changed quite a lot. there are a lot of commodities prices are up, a lot of wealthy farmers out there right now but only in certain areas. in some cases those are not the areas that are getting the subsidies that they need. it needs to be rethought from the ground up. food stamps are a separate issue. >> the farm law reverts back to 1949 law. >> anti-quoted. >> that's a long time ago, jay. >> and the rest of the country would be paying as much for milk as we are in new york city. >> $6 a gallon. >> jay, we talk about lieverage right?
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not that i have anything against kabuki theater, here is the argument. republicans go to the mat defending tax cuts for top earners. i'm surprised the white house hasn't brought in the argument for extending payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance, because that's the poor and the working class and the middle class. there's the argument. republicans won't support those tax cuts. >> food stamps so badly cut in the house version of the bill. three times. >> did 35 billion over 10 years. but really i mean this is like the ideological parity test. is it because they have too much on the plate to discuss? >> they've got plenty on the plate to discuss and first priority is to break republican resistance to higher rates and they're on their way toward doing that. i think in fairness it's not ideology on the republican side. remember the democratic bill, which passed the senate which 64 votes on the farm bill, did cut food stamps and they had an
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argument for the -- these were cuts not to sort of primary recipients but things on the fringes, like barring lottery winners from collecting food stamp benefits and other cats and dogs there -- >> i'm glad somebody's looking out for the lottery winner shams. >> reporter: one other point on that. remember, the president, two years ago, extended all of the tax cuts, including the tax cuts for top earners, on the grounds that the economy was so weak, it couldn't take the blow and the withdrawal in effect of money from the economy by doing that. so to some degree, the administration itself is evolving with changing economic circumstances. at some point, when you get in a recovery, and the administration's making the case and job numbers tell us we are recovering and other economic data do, too, you say some of the things we enacted as emergency measure during the great recession are going to either be taken away or tapered
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down. and that's part of the logic of including some cuts or some reduction in the extension of unemployment, food stamps and other things. >> but okay, we're going to talk about the reality of being poor in america and the next couple of block. the notion that you can start kicking people off food stamp rolls because we're in a recovery. if you look at how much money people are make, the stats, economic impact of giving a person a dollar in food stamps equals $1.84 in economic activity because people spend it almost immediately. >> the sad reality. the rich have their voice in the republican party. middle class found its voice in the democratic. nobody speaks for the poor. the poor have been silent, marginalized. even if they are the victims of the attempt of the obama administration, correctly, to try to you know force the republicans to play ball on their terms, reality is, the collateral damage done to the poor in the meantime is so devastating, because the margin of reserve for those middle
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class, even compared to the poor is more significant than when you're making a dollar that you talked about and you've got go there -- i was on food stamps for three years i understand what it means to be on food stamps. most people are on welfare for two years or less, they use it as a stopgap measure. most people do not pimp the system. the perception is they pimp the system. you ain't doing much pimping on food stamps. about your a low rent pimp if you're on food stamps. >> alex? >> go ahead. >> reporter: i understand michael's point but i think he's giving obama -- underselling obama's effectiveness so far a little bit. obama doesn't talk a lot about the poor but in the negotiations, especialfully 2010, the president, his team, gene sperling and others were effective in protecting poor people's programs, and benefits, and i think they are going to draw some lines here. the lines are just not going to be identical to the ones two years ago. >> i'm definitely on obama's side and i appreciate the fact there's a difference between getting the work done. do you want the commercial or the job done?
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i get that. i'm saying at some point, talking about the attention deficit disorder that this nation suffers from in terms of politics, the poor have to have a spokesperson to articulate their viewpoints, a marion wright etleman, someone who speaks about the devastation the poor endured. there's a value in speaking it into existence so on shows like this or sunday morning programs the poor have a seat at the table. >> think of the man with the golden throat a spokesperson on this hour, which i applaud you. >> where is john edwards? >> john edwards. >> getting a haircut. >> if there was an oil painting of john edwards -- the haircut's not the first thing they'd mention. nbc's -- >> john edwards has an oil painting of himself in his house, i bet money on that. >> she didn't say oily. >> the seasonally elegant luke russert, thank you for joining us. and cnbc's john harwood, thank
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i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. last week, 200 fast-food
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works are went on strike in new york city, calling for $15 an hour and the right to unionize. the protests, organized bay group called fast-food forward, draw attention to low-wage jobs. according to the atlantic, borough of labor statistics estimate 7 out of 10 will be low wage fields. nationally, fast food workers earn $8.72 an hour, or a little more than $18,000 a year, according to the bls. to put that in perspective, poverty line for a family of four is over $23,000, according to the census bureau. contrary to popular belief the people working these jobs are not teenagers. they are people in their late 20s and early 30s, trying to support a family. joining the panel now, the director of the fast food forward campaign, jonathan weston. >> thanks for having me there we were saying this is the time to be having this conversation. >> definitely because of the arlgment in d.c. and the holiday
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season when we think about when we're in stores buying things and thinking about wages, pocketbooks, and the neediest. i want to talk about fooast foo forward. tell us about your efforts and how optimistic you are about affecting change among fast food workers. >> we're joining fast food workers with car wash workers, workers from all over the city to come together to say we can't continue to sustain an economy based on low wage work. a column in the "times" we're becoming a low wage economy. what we're seeing in fast-food restaurants all over the city and the country, people just can't afford the basic necessities of life. they can't put food on the table, clothes on their kids' back, many don't have the money to afford transportation to work. they can't afford a train ride, they end up walking to work. a guy who worked in harlem
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walking to bushwick in brooklyn, it's nine miles. he was powalking that because h didn't have the train fare to get to work. workers are rely on public assistance, food stamps, you were talking about food stamps before. they serve us our food and can't afford food themselves and rely on food stamps. we're subsidizing multibillion dollar corporations because of what they refuse to pay in wages and give in benefits. >> so that point, the atlantic describes fast food weathered receipt seths and t recession, young brands which runs pizza hut, saw profits up 45% over the last four fiscal years and mcdonald's saw them up 130%. after walmart, yum brand mcdonald's the second and third low wage employers in the nation. >> for years we haven't factored in the environmental costs of cheap beef. >> that's a part. >> a spokesman for the mcdonald's said this is the end
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of the dollar menu. the environmental costs, and now talking about the human costs of underpaid labor. >> you know, michael, talking about the spokes people for the 1%, the spokes people for the middle class. talking about the working poor, which is what we're talking about here. >> absolutely. >> this, i found staggering. walmart is -- one out of every ten american retail employees works at all mart, employs 1.4 million u.s. workers. this is according to a study, if large retailers paid $25,000 a year for full-time year-round work more than 700,000 americans would be able to cross the poverty line. >> that's stunning. and what that focuses on is a fact that is on cured in the debate on poverty. most poor people work every day. people have a notion they're on the dole and chilling out, buying cadillacs and eating mcdonald's and getting their weave done. reality is that most poor people are working two, three jobs but they work 40, 50, 60 hours a week, they can't make ends meet.
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they have two, three jobs so they can't go to their kids' school to talk about their report card and if they don't they are looked at as poor parents but if they do they might lose a job that will sustain the kid that might relieve him from being a lash key kid but put them on the dole. a little help from the labor force would help these poor people turn themselves in to worthy workers who are recipients of a wage that is living not barely subsifting. >> talking about the income disparity in the country. i think nothing is a clearer sign of end times when you have the people at the top -- i have the stats -- 93% of all income gains in 2010 went to the top 1%. this is not a society where there's -- fairness is, you know, this isn't a socialist argument. this is sustaining american society in the years to come. >> to be self-interested about it, for the wealthy to get
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wealthier, for these big corporations to maintain profits, they need people to get out of poverty. the people who go out and buy the dollar meal, the people who shop at walmart, are the people who have edged out of poverty. they're not your folks going to saks fifth avenue. so individually, from each company's perspective, you push down costs, increase profit but was collectively all of the companies need to recognize that's 1.4 million workers who are going to be their consumers and customers, maybe not in the store but at mcdonald's around the corn somewhere that's why it's in everyone's self-interest to get people out of poverty, to pay them a living wage, and you don't have to also give them food stamps, right? it's not in anyone's -- it's not democrats who want them and companies together should understand these are their customers as well as workers. >> that's the republican argument. if you have -- people have more money in their pockets they're
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not dependent on the social safety net what the republicans are arguing the entire time. what has been the reaction from the fast food companies? >> we haven't heard from the fast food companies themselves. they haven't reached out to us. we've heard from workers within the stores of mcdonald's, wendy's, kfc, people are excited, what happened with walmart workers walking off of work at walmart, the people feel more empowered. we, you know, the picture you have up is of a councilman that walked to work and back to work, she wuz fired. people started picketing and protesting and she won her job back. what this did was embolden more workers. workers in the store telling us great job, good work, up ins up, this is great, amazing what you're doing. what we hope this does is inspire more workers to take more risks and encourage them to go out and challenge management, challenge multibillion dollar corporations in a way that hasn't been done in the past 30,
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40, 50 years. and that's what we're seeing. >> i would say this isn't a radical plan. this is a basic living wage. in terms of purchasing power, the value of the minimum wage is 30% lower than it was in 1968. lest anybody thinks we need to account or not account. >> the president hasn't taken the oath for this second term but some republicans are jockeying for 2016. we'll talk christie, ryan, rubio why one of the dudes was at the white house today next on "now." having you ship my gifts couldn't be easier. well, having a ton of locations doesn't hurt. and a santa to boot! [ chuckles ] right, baby. oh, sir. that is a customer. oh...sorry about that. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. fedex office.
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>> we're going to a majority of takers versusmakers in america. we can become a society where the net majority of americans are takers not makes. get a hand up, not a hand out. teach a man how to fish, feed himself for a life. don't feed fish. >> don't feed fish. on tuesday, ryan began another one-man crusade against poverty. we'll examine paul ryan's unique brand of compassionate conservatism next on "now." [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents the cold truth. i have a cold... i took dayquil, but i still have a runny nose. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't work on runny noses. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have an antihistamine. really? [ male announcer ] really. alka-seltzer plus cold and cough fights your worst cold symptoms, plus has a fast acting antihistamine to relieve your runny nose. [ sighs ] thank you! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth!
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fresh off a humiliating defeat at the ballot box and amid a national debate over just how out of touch their party really is, romney's running mate and the rising star from florida tried, perhaps a little too hard
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to come across as caring, compassionate conservatives at tuesday's jack kemp foundation dinner in d.c. paul ryan trying to put as much distance as rhetorically as possible between himself and the man he spent the last four months campaigning with, tried to shrug off the 47% baggage and cast himself as a, wait for it, champion of the poor. >> when 40% of all children born in the lowest income quinn tile never rise above it, what does that say about our country? we must come together and advance new strategies for lifting people out of poverty. how do we get this sense of real security and upper mobility for all americans especially those in need? >> unless america forget the same paul ryan who authorized the paul ryan budget which, according to the nonpartisan center on budget and policy priorities would have made 62% of spending cuts on programs
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that serve low income americans and uninsure up to 57 million americans. at the same dinner a more sober, compassionate, marco rubio emerged as a champion for the, let's see if you can guess. >> middle class, american middle class, great american middle class. vibrant and stable middle class. m middle class job creator. middle class. >> with 35 mentions in one speech, rubio made his love for the middle class clear. his solution what ails the middle class, tax cuts. >> they do not create rapid economic growth. you can't open or grow a business if your taxes are too high or uncertain. that's why i personally opposed the president's plan to raise taxes. we should keep rates low on everyone. >> paul ryan, meanwhile, channel his inner ian rand, the problem for the american poor is a
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bloated federal government. a bloated federal government that wants to spend too much to help the poor. >> government's approach has been to expand bureaucracy and spend lots of money on bloated top-down anti-poverty programs. we're trying to measure compassion by how much we spend not by how many people we help. >> the takeaway, we care. we care about the same things we always cared about -- cutting taxes and slashing the government. in "the daily beast" calling this attempt at rebranding, if you will, gaseous rhetoric. saying until these guys actually embrace some amount of policy change, it's same old, same old. >> you know i think rubio at least his suits fit better than paul ryan's suits do. watching them, on the one hand it's cool watching them being -- trying to be progressive. but it's -- these suits are ill-fitting these compassion -- sudden compassion for the poor. it's a little bit like listening to bloomberg speak spanish.
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>> nice try but awkward. >> i'm happy to hear paul ryan talking about the poor and i hope this is a trend in the republican party. >> i don't know -- if i were paul ryan's strategist i would say, you know what? poverty, don't go there. all it takes one look what you've done in congress -- >> you know you would think. my colleague writes in the week's edition of "time" about the rebranding effort and there are a lot of gop bigwigs that want paul ryan to be a catholic moses figure. you know, they think that he can -- >> which is impossible. >> which is impossible. >> biblically. >> good at breaking those tablets. >> i think that paul ryan has the same problem that the republicans did in the election, which is that the math doesn't work, the ideology, economically doesn't work. as you just talked about in the last segment, some of the fastest growing industries in this country are low-paying industries. that actually 8 out of the 10 fastest growing job categories
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at minimum wage jobs. you have this growing group of people that is under pressure and there's no way of getting around that math and the republicans are not putting a coherent strategy forward yet on that. >> i think also this notion of takes versus makers are engrained in the dna of the gop. this seems like triage after the video came out and paul ryan wants to have a future in the american politics and being hitched to the guy at the flossie dinner said this is not caring about half of the country knows he needs to do some work. >> it's romney-like. what the strategy is pretend you didn't say what you said and pretend you didn't do what you did and therefore you can do what you never can aspire to, which is help the poor. beyond all of that talk at the end of the day they're doing the same policies that put the poor people into the poor house to begin with, or helped. the policies that didn't try to take advantage of the goodwill this nation had for people who were poor. guess what?
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as reported there was a greater tolerance for food stamps, guess why? more people needed them. and now when my brother needs them and when my sister needs them and when my family needs them i don't trust those people as people just on the dole and don't want to work. i know them. i think the american public when it understands the matter of trust, i understand the story and narrative this person is giving me, i can be more generous and compassionate. let's translate that into structural and systemic approaches that allow public policy to adroes them. what paul ryan is doing is filibustering. >> really quick, we didn't talk about this yet, we are going to now quickly. >> do it. >> chris christie making an appearance at the white house. >> best friend forever. >> what is that? he's probably the one in the best position for 2016 at this point. i mean -- >> there's a thing about winning primaries he has to get through. the more he shows up at the white house for holiday party or whatever he's doing there, the harder it's going to be.
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>> hurricane sandy. >> obviously new jersey still needs help. and he's not helping his political career doing that. a general election, yes. but he does have to face conservative threats in the primaries, not the best way. >> a cynical view of this -- >> sorry. it's holiday season but it's true. >> that's why we have you here. you call it like it is, my friend. that's all for us. thank you. we have to go. but i'll see you back leer tomorrow at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. pacific joined by ben white, joan walsh, ben smith and msnbc's very own chris heys. until then, follow us on twitter -- wow, having a hard time with the teleprompter. "andrea mitchell reports" next. chris cillizza is filling in for her. good afternoon, mr. cillizza. >> i don't know what those words mean but assume they're compliments. >> $5 compliments. >> i'll take them. >> coming up next on "andrea
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mitchell reports," jim demint is out. the tea party leader announces his departure from congress. what does it mean for the senate and the future of the republican party? chuck todd, gop senator leader john barrasso and more. congressman john larson on what role house democrats can play in the budget negotiations. and the latest on the showdown in syria and defense secretary leon panetta's warning for president assad with former ambassador nick burns. male announcer ] jill and her mouth have lived a great life. but she has some dental issues she's not happy about. so i introduced jill to crest pro-health for life. selected for people over 50. pro-health for life is a toothpaste that defends against tender, inflamed gums, sensitivity and weak enamel. conditions people over 50 experience. crest pro-health for life. so jill can keep living the good life. crest. life opens up when you do. [ tylenol bottle ] me too! and nasal congestion.
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